Somehow we Moms have bought into the idea that because we have the opportunity to “do it all”, we should not only “do everything” but do everything well and at the same time! There is an expectation, perpetuated by the media, but also by ourselves, to contribute to the family finances, keep a tidy home, cook healthy meals, volunteer, keep children clean and healthy, stay fit and active, dress fashionably, look good, have good friendships, healthy family relationships, satisfying sex lives, and raise respectful, bright, athletic, talented children who also do everything well.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to speak at the Mothers of Multiples Conference and we looked back in history and noticed that never before have so many expectations been put on mothers. I think it’s no coincidence that rates of anxiety and depression have gone up in women and in children in our country at the same time our “Supermom syndrome” has escalated. Well Supermom is getting tired and it’s time to change the expectations we put on ourselves and other Moms.
Moms love to talk about how busy they are. “I’ve got to do this.” “I’ve got to that” but the common denominator all my clients are looking for is PEACE. Not happiness, not excitement, but peace. An escape from the mental churning, multi-tasking, ruminating and busy-ness that seems to dominate our days. Moms today often feel disconnected from their lives because they are disconnected from themselves.
I know what you’re thinking, “I’ve got stuff to do” “People need me” or “I hardly get anything done as it is, and now you want me to do nothing?”
Doing nothing gives you access to yourself. It tunes you back in to WHO YOU ARE , WHAT YOU WANT and WHY YOU ARE HERE. It’s so easy to lose oneself in motherhood but you cannot find peace around you, if you cannot create it inside you.
The tricky part is GIVING YOURSELF PERMISSION to do nothing and not allowing your brain to start “should-ing” all over your quiet time. “I really should be doing something else right now.” “This is a waste of time.” “This shouldn’t be so hard.” These thoughts can make our quiet time stressful.
To keep your brain occupied, while your body is still, try this, my most favorite mantra, “There is nothing I have to do right now.” This is one of my favorite thoughts because it is always true. There truly never is something that you HAVE to DO right now. (I hear my 13-year-old son, in my head, arguing this with me, but it’s true! You don’t even have to breathe right now.) When I think “There is nothing I have to do right now” my body immediately relaxes and shifts out of my head and into the present moment. When I can focus on my own body in the present moment, peace is accessible. I am accessible. My senses come alive. I am awake and fully alive in this moment and that is where joy and contentment become available.
My family and I have started honoring a Sabbath. Five hours on Sundays with no technology, no distractions, no “shoulds” and no “have-to’s”. Just the opportunity to become alive in the present moment and do whatever we feel like doing. It’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever made them do. (You can imagine, as a life coach, I make them do all sorts of goofy things.)
I’d love for you to join me, on my DO NOTHING movement, and let me know how it goes. Start with 15 minutes a week, or 5 minutes a day, if that’s all you can spare. Schedule it on the calendar “from 9-9:15pm I will sit and do nothing. No reading, no TV, no talking, just being fully available to listen to myself. Try it now, for 30 seconds, “there is nothing I have to do right now” and breathe in the truth of it.
Join me, this Mother’s day, in supporting other Moms to celebrate NOTHING! Let’s encourage each other to take pride in the accomplishment of BEING instead of DOING. It may take courage, but it’s the only way to hear that still, small voice inside. The quiet voice that tells you “there’s more here for you” and at the same time says “in this moment, all is well”.